Views #1472 | Intermediate (B1)

Giving Gifts

Aimee and Todd talk about the hassle of giving gifts.

Todd: Do you feel pressure to get certain gifts for your kids?

Aimee: I ... sometimes. Sometimes. Thankfully they ... it's not ... there's not too much pressure where we live right now, so I don't feel too much pressure and I also work hard to fight against it. Yeah. Every year I tell myself, "OK, they're so young. We have so much stuff already. We don't need to go crazy with gifts. Just get one or two" and we do that and then last minute is like "Oh, no! We don't have many gifts" and then we end up buying a few more, so... We're not as bad as we could be. There's not as much pressure as there could be.

Todd: Yeah. I'm lucky in that I live in Japan. You know, we both teach in Japan. So my family's in America, so Christmas usually always falls like the day after we finish school, so I can't actually make it home in time for Christmas, which is awesome because then I don't have to buy gifts for everybody. And I don't mind ... its not the money. I don't mind spending the money, but I really don't like shopping, and I hate having ... I have a huge family. Huge!

Aimee: Right.

Todd: So the thought of having to buy 20 different gifts!

Aimee: It's a lot of gifts.

Todd: Oh, really it's not the cost either, it's just I'm too lazy to think of "Oh, what sweater can I buy this person or ..." it's not my thing. And I don't want gifts and I don't want to give gifts.

Aimee: Well, you know that's fair.

Todd: How about you? Are gifts still something special for you?

Aimee: I'm not ... I'm not very good at it. I'm trying to improve cause I know a well-thought-out gift can mean the world to someone, so I'm trying to improve. Yeah, but I'm not the best. I don't mind, I'm not like. I won't fall out with someone if they don't get me a present. I'm not like that.

Todd: Well, like, I like getting people birthday gifts, I have to admit that. Birthday gifts I like. It's just having to buy twenty, thirty gifts within a one-month period to me just seems obscene.

Aimee: I know, and that's the pressure people are under cause that's the way it is, isn't it? And it's always ... it's always the mothers of the family that have to do it as well right? They're the ones that have to make sure they buy all the gifts for everyone, so they feel they have so much to do. That mental list of everything, and everyone they have to buy for, so of course they have to organize it, so they maybe start earlier, right, and taking advantage of things like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are manageable ways to deal with that load.

Todd: You've changed my mind. I was very anti-both but now that you put it that way, maybe you're right.

Aimee: I don't know.

Todd: Let's go!

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

go crazy


We don't need to go crazy with gifts.

Here, 'to go crazy' means to do more than normal. Notice the following:

  1. I tend to go crazy when buying gifts for people.
  2. This weekend I went crazy and watched 10 movies.

well thought out


It was a well-thought-out gift

If something is well thought out then it is deliberately considerate or well-planned. Notice the following:

  1. It was a well-thought-out gesture.
  2. The seating at the party was well thought out.

mean the world (to someone)


A gift can mean the world to someone

If something 'means the world' to someone, it is very appreciated. Notice the following:

  1. His daughter's card meant the world to him.
  2. Getting the award meant the world to her

under pressure


That's the pressure people are under

Here, 'the pressure people are under' is another way to say 'people are under pressure'. If people are under pressure, they feel a lot of stress to accomplish something. Notice the following:

  1. We are under pressure to do well at work.
  2. She is under pressure to earn lots of money.

change your mind


You've changed my mind.

When you change your mind, you change your opinion or plans about something. Notice the following:

  1. I did not like him at first, but I changed my mind.
  2. If you change your mind, let me know.

Now that you put it that way


Well, now that you put it that way ...

The phrase, 'now that you put it that way' means that something was said that made the listener think of it differently. Notice the following:

  1. Well, now that you put it that way, I agree with you.
  2. Now that you put it that way, I change my mind.

Vocabulary Quiz

go crazy • well-thought-out • means the world
under pressure • change your mind
  1. Most of the time, his pranks are .
  2. If you ever , give me a call.
  3. With the deadline coming up, the team started to work .
  4. I will not over trendy things that I don't need.
  5. His mother's thoughtfulness to him.

Related Video - One Minute English

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1474 Adopting Holidays
Making a holiday a new tradition
1473 Megen
1473 Hot and Cold Christmas
Christmas is different climates.
1472 Aimee
1472 Giving Gifts
The hassle of buying presents.
1471 Aimee
1471 Black Friday
Learn about this popular shopping day.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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